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Harmony Korine Looks At Ohio White Trash

Highlight of the week is the directorial debut of Harmony Korine. It’s the 20th anniversary screening of his nihilistic study of a group of Ohio white trash teens. They aren’t cute and the film is liberally peppered with disturbing real deal moments.

Not every viewer may want to see a Harmony Korine depiction of animal cruelty. For those viewers, there’s a jaundiced look behind the curtain of China’s economic miracle. Or they can catch an incredible but forgotten Nicholas Ray film. Or they can go for the horror of a late-night autopsy that goes sideways. Get in out of the weekend’s rain and catch a good film!

The Autopsy Of Jane Doe

This English language horror film is director Andre Ovredal’s creepy follow-up to his Trollhunter. In a small-town Virginia morgue, a father-son team of coroners (Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch) perform an autopsy on the corpse of a young woman (Olwen Kelly) found at a multiple murder scene. Her corpse has a pristine exterior. Yet inside, the coroners find a severed tongue and blackened lungs among other oddities. Worse, weird things start happening in the supposedly quiet morgue.

Screens on February 19, 2017 at 9:20 PM, February 21, 2017 at 9:30 PM, and February 22, 2017 at 9:25 PM. All screenings take place at the New Parkway Theater.

Behemoth

Think China has an economic miracle that’s worth praising? Political documentarian Zhao Liang’s film shows how this “miracle” relies on exploiting poor laborers. Beginning with a mining explosion in Mongolia, and ending in a ghost town west of Beijing, Liang’s film brings viewers face-to-face with the social and ecological costs of China’s economic boom.

Screens February 18, 2017 at 9:00 PM and February 19, 2017 at 2:00 PM at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Bigger Than Life

The Pacific Film Archive starts winding down its Nicholas Ray film series with one of the director’s little known but critically acclaimed films. James Mason plays a schoolteacher who moonlights as a taxi driver to supplement his meager salary. When crippling arthritis starts making his life miserable, the teacher takes cortisone. Unfortunately for him, the drug unleashes Jekyll- and Hyde-like changes in his personality.

Screens February 18, 2017 at 6:00 PM at the Pacific Film Archive

Blockade

Serge Loznitsa’s acclaimed documentary captures the World War II siege of Leningrad. There is no narration or music. The entire film’s soundtrack consists of natural sound effects. Removed from the comfort of distance, the viewer watches as the compilation of film footage shows the famed city’s slow death.

Screens February 22, 2017 at 7 PM at the Pacific Film Archive The film will be accompanied by the short “The Old Jewish Cemetery.” Loznitsa appears in person for a conversation with critic Neil Young.

Dog Film Festival

The first ever national dog film festival comes to San Francisco with two programs of short films about human-canine love. Among the shorts are films about prisoners who train dogs, a dog parody of Game of Thrones, and how dogs view humans. Half the proceeds benefit Animal Care and Control. And attendees can bring their well-behaved dogs to either screening.

Screens on February 19, 2017 at 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM at the Roxie Theatre

Gummo

Filmgoers wouldn’t ignore Harmony Korine after seeing his controversial directorial debut. It followed a group of Ohio white trash teens living in squalor. This proudly nihilist verite film gets a 35 mm screening on the 20th anniversary of its debut. Get ready to have Harmony Korine trample your comfort zones, particularly with the spaghetti eating and hair washing sequence!

Screens on February 22, 2017 at 10:15 PM at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Malcolm X

Catch a rare screening of Spike Lee’s epic biopic of the life and times of civil rights pioneer Malcolm X. The film follows Malcolm Little (Denzel Washington), as his embracing Islam turned him away from a life of crime. Malcolm re-brands himself as Malcolm X and works as a spokesman for the Nation Of Islam (NOI). His successes bring him national prominence. But Malcolm’s rising power also brings threats that force him to leave NOI and eventually forge a new path for himself.

Screens February 19, 2017 at 3:00 PM at the New Parkway Theater. A post-film discussion will follow the screening.

A Thousand Cuts: The Bizarre Underground World Of Collectors And Dealers Who Saved The Movies

In conjunction with their new book A Thousand Cuts, authors Dennis Bartok and Jeff Joseph appear in person at this special screening of film rarities. The material to be shown includes: footage of The Marx Brothers shooting Animal Crackers, comedians Mike Nichols and Elaine May explaining in a PSA why timely filing of taxes is good, and Judy Garland’s costume tests for Valley of the Dolls.

Screens on February 23, 2017 at 6:30 PM at the Roxie Theater. Bartok and Joseph will sell and sign copies of their book before the screening.

About the Author

I’m a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film…but don’t tell anyone.

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